|Murphy was killed while leading
a reconnaissance mission
Cast to portray real-life Medal of Honor recipient Lt. Michael Murphy in the new movie “Lone Survivor,” opening Christmas Day, Kitsch braced to hear from the father of the fallen national hero from Patchogue, L.I., after watching a screening of the war drama.
It gnawed on the former “Friday Night Lights” star how Daniel Murphy would handle seeing a reenactment of his son being shot dead by Taliban insurgents as he sacrificed himself to radio in air support in an attempt to save his outnumbered men.
“I knew Daniel was seeing it, so when he wrote me an incredible email the next day, it was more of just a ‘Phew,’ ” the 32-year-old actor told the Daily News, visibly relaxing. “I laugh with him now about it . . . but honestly, I don’t know how I would’ve handled it if he and the family weren’t happy with it.”
“He doesn’t look like Mike, but he captured the essence of my son, his facial expressions, his mannerisms, his sense of humor,” said Michael’s mother, Maureen.
Her son was posthumously awarded the military’s highest honor. A memorial park in Ronkonkoma, L.I., and a post office in Patchogue now bear his name, and the naval destroyer Michael Murphy patrols the Pacific. But this movie has the potential to be a tribute of a whole other scale — spreading the story of his selfless final act to a much wider audience.
“When you hear they’re thinking about sending troops somewhere we need to understand what the real price we have to pay is,” said director Peter Berg. “We as citizens need to understand who guys like Mike Murphy were.”
That’s one of the reasons why Murphy’s best friend and fellow SEAL Marcus Luttrell, played in the movie by Mark Wahlberg, wrote the book on which “Lone Survivor” is based.
NY DAILY NEWS DECEMBER 22, 2013